A bold idea and a monstrosity were two descriptions yesterday of an 11-storey hotel proposed for Launceston by entrepreneur Errol Stewart.
Mr Stewart wants to build the project beside the North Esk River in the Invermay grain silos, opposite his Seaport development. The proposal replaces his plan last year for a tower in Royal Park.
Launceston Chamber of Commerce president Janine Healey welcomed the plan, saying it was a bold proposal that would deliver jobs and boost the city's image.
``We would like to see something quite bold and this is a big, bold initiative,'' Mrs Healey said.
``It would make use of existing infrastructure (by the derelict silos being converted to a new use).
``The construction jobs would be fantastic and it would also be another high quality hotel resource.''
Acting chamber executive officer Maree Tetlow said the chamber wanted a feasibility study into building a conference centre in the city, so it was good to hear Mr Stewart was proposing a conference space in the tower.
Former chamber executive officer and now Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Michael Bailey said the successful redevelopment of silos in Hobart augured well for the Launceston proposal.
Launceston Historical Society president Marion Sargent said the project sounded like a ``monstrosity'' that would not fit the low-rise look of Launceston.
Mrs Sargent said two other tall buildings in the city - the Telstra building in St John Street and the Myer building in the Brisbane Street Mall - were not architecturally pleasing and did not fit the streetscape.
She said the tower risked becoming a white elephant if not commercially successful but would dominate the skyline and cause overshadowing in nearby Royal Park.